David Altman, SIVB President

From the Desk of the President


By all accounts the Annual Meeting in Baltimore was a great success. Specific feedback, coming to me from one veteran corporate group participating with SIVB for the first time, judged our meeting to be the best one they had EVER attended. If you miss our Annual Meeting, then you are letting a great opportunity slip to engage in significant scientific discussions, to confer with colleagues both new and of long acquaintance, and to become involved with important career-enhancing activities.

Our Annual Meeting Student Initiative is thriving and continuing to grow. We increased post-doc and other student registrations by about 5% over the 2004 San Francisco numbers, which put the figure well over 100 for the second year in a row. In particular, the generous support of a corporate donation from UST and a successful USDA grant helped make possible our vision to attract the next generation of scientists to SIVB. The Society is continuing the policy to allow free student registration for 2006 in Minneapolis, along with a complimentary one-year membership for students who come to the 2006 Annual Meeting. The Board calls on all the membership to spread the word, so that students and advisors can plan to submit abstracts for presentations and posters at Minneapolis, or to come just to be part of the activities. We also need your help to raise funds, both through grants and donations, to make this initiative viable. Maybe all of us might even try to influence other professional societies to develop similar policy and thereby do something to put our spoken values into practice! Feel free to contact either me (President@sivb.org) or David Songstad (david.d.songstad@monsanto.com) if you have any questions or would like to help the Development Committee with this effort.

I’d also like to thank all of the contributors and sponsors, the volunteers, and individuals who made donations to the silent auction. At last count, there were 25 contributors to either the General Fund or an Activity Fund of one of the SIVB’s sections and 9 in-kind contributions. Besides the particularly generous support this year from UST as noted above, I’d also like to single out for praise the US Army Medical Research and Material Command. USAMRMC has again made a very generous donation to SIVB, and some of our Vertebrate and Toxicology Section members have been very instrumental in soliciting this support for SIVB. In another demonstration of generosity, we even received an anonymous donation of $5,000.

The support for our Annual Meeting was encouraging and allows me to report that, along with cost-cutting measures, we actually are on target to exceed the bottom line figure for the budget’s net revenue from the 2005 meeting. Please do some reflection and consider how you might want to help SIVB for the 2006 meeting at this time. While monetary concerns tend to be a focus, I don’t want to leave the impression that this venue is the only way to contribute. My comment at the start of these remarks drew attention to the high quality of the science program that is a hallmark of the SIVB. In addition, if you happen to want to send SIVB a donation of any size, then you don’t need to wait for a call from a colleague or the Development Committee directly. I urge everyone to consider forwarding an extra contribution whenever you might be thinking of the unique value that we bring to our profession.

Last but not least, I want to solicit your ideas. We’ve had many initiatives that have come out of our collective brainstorming, such as the Student Initiative from the Long-Range Planning Committee. I’m sure there are many good concepts in everyone’s head, and we’d certainly like to hear about some of your musings. Feel free to contact any Officer, Section Officer, Board member, or the Business Office, and your idea will receive careful attention. Thanks again for making the Annual Meeting a success, and we all look forward to the next time we will be able to get together in less than a year at Minneapolis!

David Altman
SIVB President
Email: President@sivb.org